Open enrollment for 2015 health insurance coverage from the government marketplace is proposed to begin Nov. 15. People who plan to shop HealthCare.gov should understand the rules or risk facing serious consequences down the road.
Granted, the rules were confusing to begin with and have been changed and rearranged with little public explanation or education. Additionally, policies available through HealthCare.gov have been marketed as providing better coverage at lower subsidized prices than what’s available to most individuals shopping privately or covered through employer-sponsored programs.
Many policies purchased through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) websites also qualify for government subsidies for the purchaser. Those subsidies are not available for policies purchased through other means.
That allure, and the public’s failure to understand the rules, is leading many to inadvertently break them, which may result in stiff penalties for individuals and families down the road.
Under the law, employers with 50 employees or more must offer policies that meet or exceed the new PPACA rules which, for instance, require certain preventative measures to be 100 percent covered. Some employees, unhappy with their companies’ offers, are instead purchasing through the marketplace in hopes of a better deal.